Scott Hanselman

Vista BOOTMGR is Missing and the Importance of the UPS

April 08, 2007 Comment on this post [4] Posted in
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Some folks are passionate about Power. I know that Power Supplies for PCs vary greatly in quality and I could buy smoother/more powerful/quieter supplies, but that's more effort that I'm willing to expend. Now, Uninterruptible Power Supplies, that's a whole other things for me.

Mo's machine died last night, in the middle of a complete power outage that lasted about 1 minute. It apparently happened "between heartbeats" on her computer because now it says "BOOTMGR is Missing."

Hers was the only machine that didn't have a UPS connected. We were watching a show at the time and the HDTV and DVR - connected to a UPS - didn't blink. My mistake, and that's what I get, eh? Time for the every-3-years refresh of UPS's and Batteries for the Hanselman house. I like APC, they are inexpensive and have replaceable batteries. Off to Circuit City.

Now I've got a UPS for every computer in the house, our TV setup and DVR, and the Network Wiring Closet.

  • Mo's small computer and LCD - APC 550VA
  • My beefy computer along with the Cable Modem and Vonage Router - APC 750VA
  • Home Server running headless with 3 external drives - APC 550VA
  • Router and Wireless Router - APC350VA
  • LCD HDTV, DVR and Stereo in the Living Room - APC 750VA

I'm less interested in a super-powered UPS that will keep me running and working for hours, and more interested in one that will keep spikes down, clean up power dips (brown-outs) and deal with complete power outages that last less than 10 minutes.

Do yourself, and your parents, a favor, and go get UPS's for all.

Oh, how did I fixed that BOOTMGR thing? I booted off the original Vista DVD, selected Repair and was guided through a VERY slick and intensive repair process that worked famously. Kudos Vista FIXBOOT team.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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April 08, 2007 2:22
For your Soviet Canookistan readers -- I just picked up a APC 750VA last week from Dell Canada for only $59 with free shipping. It's still available. Here's the link:

BTW, I like the new blog style!
April 09, 2007 19:17
Your throw away line at the end is the most important. I cannot tell you the frustration that I have had with Disk Manager in Windows. It usually goes something like this:

1) Select Change to Dynamic drive. No other information or warnings about why you would not want to do this.
2) See dialog "You must reboot for this change to take effect," so you then reboot.
3) See the message to the effect, "No OS found on boot drive"
4) Spend 2 hours trying to repair the disk in vain. Spend another 2 hours rebuilding the hard drive.
5) After 6 months, forgetting that Windows does not like to change the boot drive in any way, decide to change the disk to dynamic.
6) Go directly to (2)

The exact same thing happened to me when I use Vista upgrade on 500GB hard drive. I had to insall XP which only recognizes 135GB. When I got to Vista, I reconfigured the hard drive to be 500GB and had to reboot. I got the same message that it could not find the OS on the recocnfigured hard drive. I had to boot from the CD again and I ran repair. Thinking that this version of repair is as lame as the XP version, I figured it was a vain effort and I was resolved to having a 135GB HDD. But as Scott describes, the repair utility actually knows what Vista is looking for at boot time and (shock of shocks) acutally repairs the problem. Kudos to MS for getting this one little lifesaver right. Jim
April 09, 2007 23:16
My sector had a power out a couple weeks ago. I had to watch TV by candle light. I'm ordering a UPS today from one of your links.
May 05, 2007 9:01
For those PacNW'ers who have recently [at least as of Dec 14th, 2006's memorable storm ] become generator-fanatics, be warned that consumer-grade APC units won't work on generator-supplied power, even with monster whole-house generators like our Guardian which is wired into the natural gas supply [yes, that was us, the only folks for 20 miles around in Woodinville who had power the whole 10 days. We did turn the christmas lights off, I promise ...]

Apparently the APC units sense some difference in generator power; our comsumer-grade APCs constantly bleeped and shut down. A call to the helpful folks at APC revealed that their "server class" units have whatever "line conditioning" etc. is needed to make the power usable.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.